EXISTING ORDERS continue to preoccupy the fertiliser trade and fulfilling these has depleted stocks to a minimum.
At the same time, extended obligatory shutdowns for maintenance have given rise to reports that Yara and Terra are out of the market until April.
Supplies from Kemira are limited, keeping the market tight. On a seasonal basis, imports are down about 150,000t.
But the actual shortfall in NPK compounds, ammonium nitrate and urea is actually greater, as net increases are reported for ammonium sulphate and for calcium ammonium nitrate.
There is time for import volumes to catch up but with little activity at the farm gate, importers do not want to speculate.
As expected, sales of sulphurous fertilisers have risen, but this modest increase continues to lag considerably behind agronomic need.
Many farmers have failed to realise that this inexpensive nutrient could have the effect of greatly increasing nitrogen efficiency on most farms.
With limited supplies and low demand, it is not surprising that prices have not changed.
However, change is imminent within Kemira GrowHow. UK managing director Bob Chorlton is set to retire, with directors Rodney Johnston and David Stacey taking over the site and business responsibilities respectively.
CURRENT PRICES (£/t)
Nitrogen (Domestic) N (SP5) 34.5%
Imported AN Lithuan
£147 where available
No market yet
Jan (add £3 for March)
|Trace elements||0.24.24||TSP (47%P2O5)||Muriate of|
|Copper, zinc, selenium,|
cobalt Iodine and sodium Per acre pack £11.10
Benchmark prices. Compounds out of season.
Urea, existing stocks only
CAN, large price variations
27. 2.5 . 5
(dependant on source and quality)
€200 import blend
*Note in the Republic of Ireland nutrients are expressed as elements not oxides. Analyses will not be directly comparable with those used in the UK.
Note All illustrated prices are based upon 24 tonne loads for immediate payment. Prices for smaller loads and those with credit terms will vary considerably.